An ever increasing number of businesses are moving their mobile phone fleets to Apple iOS devices due to their sleek design, ease of use and market share. It’s estimated Apple devices now have a 35% share of the business market and that number has grown steadily since the advent of the iPhone 6 & 6+ models.
With the latest iteration of the operating system, iOS 9 like it’s predecessors, includes a host of new features which were not available with previous versions. Many will be considered as utterly pointless for business users (like the operating systems ability to automatically store “selfies” in a dedicated folder), however some may be beneficial such as the ability to sink mail downloads with iCloud.
However, our meddling has uncovered what we believe is a potential flaw in the new features which, unless properly considered and managed, could lead to excess data charges for business consumers.
The new feature is entitled Wi-Fi assist and is, as standard, switched on automatically after the update has taken place. Prior to iOS 9, if your device was connected to Wi-Fi it would default to transferring data via that connection only. However with this feature the device will consider the strength and speed of the data transfer incumbent in your Wi-Fi connection and, if it is deemed too slow (due to a busy or unresponsive network, etc), will use your mobile-data via connection – and if like us you have a 4G device you’ll know that you can experience lightening fast data transfers!
As this poses potential risks to the amount of mobile-data your fleet might begin to consume it may be of benefit to switch this feature off by default (using your MDM or by asking users to do this themselves). Here’s how it’s done:
Firstly, go into your settings and select “Mobile Data” (possibly “Cellular” on some devices).
Then scroll to the bottom of this menu (depending on the amount of apps installed you may need to keep scrolling) until the “Wi-Fi Assist” button is displayed.
Lastly switch this setting off, the button should be displayed as below. The feature will then be disabled ensuring that when your device is connected to Wi-Fi that it always uses this connection and does not selectively use your data-allowance.
Please follow me on Twitter for further cost saving tips and market news.